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st: best system

From   <[email protected]>
To   [email protected]
Subject   st: best system
Date   Mon, 4 Jul 2005 04:31:18 -0700 (PDT)

Dear all,

My department is considering buying a new system and
I've been asked to give some advice. I do not know
much about machines, Could you help me on this task?

THE NEEDS: I do econometrics with large panel data
sets. I use Stata 9.0 for Windows. Given the nature of
my work, most of the times I create my own ado code
which, among other things, does heavy use of
Guass-Hermite integration  or simulation techniques.
Hence, I really need computing power to perform this
tasks. In the past I have found that a single
estimation may take over 72hr to complete - which is
really annoying.

The options I am considering include:

1. Dell workstation with Dual Inter@xenon processor at
2.8GHz and 1 GB SDRAM running Windows XP proffesional.

2. Same as option 1 but running XP  professional x64

3. Dell workstation with Intel Pentium 4 Processeor
521 (2.8GHz), 1GB in SDRAM and running Windows XP.

4. Same as 3 but running XP Prof x64.

I have a number of doubts: 

A. Given that I will use Stata 9 for Windows: will
computing speed increase significantly using any of
the above systems in relation to my actual Pentium 4
at 2.4GHz and 512MB in RAM. In other words, should we
spend my money on getting a much powerful system?

B. Should I use the new XP prof. x64? Will 64-bit
operating system do significant difference? Is the
Stata update for Windows 64-bit faster than the 32-bit

C. Will my other 32-bit applications run in Windows
x64? Here I do not need much power or speed - just do
not want to wait hours to load word/excel files.

D. Any other important issue that I may be missing and
you can point it out. 

Any thoughts?

Best wishes,



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